‘Two Inch Sleeves’ features the voices of two young women from Delhi. The first is the youngest of three daughters and the first amongst her sisters to be allowed to attend a day college that involves her leaving home every day on her own to attend Delhi University. She is 19 years old. The second is 26 years old, a young mother of two and teacher in a local NGO. Both the women live in a large low-income semi-urban community in Delhi.
Regardless of the type of violence experienced or the circumstances surrounding it, most victims keep their abuse secret and never seek help. Norms that support violence can be used to justify violent behaviour and practices, excuse perpetrators’ actions and blame victims for events while trivializing or minimizing their suffering.
Understanding the norms that govern a society can provide clues to the underlying causes of violence and how it can be prevented. They are the unspoken rules that govern what is and what is not acceptable behaviour and how individuals and groups should interact. These unspoken rules also govern what is not said.
Among girls ages 15 to 19, almost one-fourth said they had been the victims of “some form of physical violence since age 15,” according to a report issued on September 4th 2014, by the United Nations’ children’s agency, UNICEF. One in 10 girls worldwide have been forced into a sexual act, and six in 10 children ages 2 to 14 are regularly beaten by parents and caregivers. They said they suffered most at the hands of the men to whom they were closest. In countries as varied as India and Zambia, for instance, more than 70 percent of girls named their current or former husbands or partners as the perpetrators of physical violence against them.
What is the key factor that stops you from reporting someone who harasses you, especially in public places in the city?
Drop your answers in the comment box below.
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